You find some interesting sites when you decide to Google "are you still writing?" It’s a question I get from time to time, especially from those I’ve not seen for some years. The stock answer to that is, "Well, yeah. For the same reason I’m still breathing. I can’t live without either one." Way back in the beginning it was fiction, and I wrote quite a bit of it over the years, including two novels, the second of which ran to some 1000 typewritten pages. Sadly, I sold only a couple of short stories, but it was an experience I’d not swap for anything.
But as time went on, I found myself delving into writing in other genres, mostly business. I ghosted more pieces than I care to think about for enough years to give me a headache, but they were pieces I approached with the same flair with which I wrote fiction, and despite myself, I enjoyed writing them, have truthfully enjoyed pretty much every piece I ever wrote.
My life took a different turn altogether when I entered into woodworking. A few years later I found myself Vice President of a Cabinetmakers Guild and a frequent contributor to the Newsletter for three years. Sometime after that Joe Dusel, who served as President part of that time, approached me in 2008 to see if I would be interested in joining him on this blog site. And so here we are.
I have not been able to blog for the longest time now, not since November 27th, and the question must surely exist in some quarters as to whether we’ve given up the project. Nothing could be further from the truth, actually, but this time round we mean to make some changes in this venture.
Both Joe Dusel and I are very political creatures, a topic that is really not compatible with what we’ve done these years on CFT411, but we are now seriously considering putting together a second blog site that would confine itself to all things political-for those who just can’t get enough secular liberalism, to quote Bill O’Reilly’s sneering term for it, a viewpoint set forth on stone tablets handed to us by the Almighty-or was it O’Reilly who got his information that way? Be that as it may, we thought there might be room for another viewpoint.
But along with a possible site devoted to the expression of those politics that most excite us, I have found myself thinking that I might convey more of a point of view in these blogs going forward. When we started the site in 2008 we did post a handful of negative blogs, in part because we thought we were being clever, in larger part, I suspect, because we were a little full of ourselves. But as I posted the last of those in June of 2008, it came to me that it was a waste of my talents and our readers’ time, and I’ve not done it since. That is not to say that I like everything I encounter on the Internet when I’m researching these blogs, but when I find something I dislike, I simply keep looking until I encounter something I like, and that becomes a blog, even more so if it is, as it usually is, a product I am honestly excited about.
When Joe Dusel invited me into what has very much become an adventure, I was leery of where it could go. How many times could I wax enthusiastic about a sink or a stove or a kitchen design, I wondered, and that may well be why we lowered ourselves to a handful of negative blogs in the early weeks of the site. Well as it turned out, there is an incredible richness in that seemingly limited world, and the reason’s simple, really. It’s because the biggest room in all the world has always been the room for improvement, and imagination is the key that unlocks the door to that room. Or, as Anatole France put it, "To know is nothing at all; to imagine is everything."
But for all the importance imagination clearly has, one must always temper it with the occasional cold splash of reality. The thought of people flying was a fantasy for a great many millennia, but the wax-and-feather wings of Greek Mythology notwithstanding, it did not become a reality until a soaring imagination (sorry!) was tempered with reality. Yes, people could fly, but not on handheld wings.
I bring that up because much of what I see being done these days has a grip on reality every bit as precarious as that exhibited by Icarus in that ill-fated flight from Crete. Watch enough Dark Side TV (no other term describes it), and you come away believing that totally remodeled and reconfigured kitchens can be had for a pittance and that outrageously talented friends who work for food are to be found on every street corner.
The one mantra they consistently apply to materials, appliances, and the designs themselves, is that cheap is every bit as good as quality. I have so many objections to that concept that I hardly know where to begin, but by the time I revisit it, I hope to have it down to a manageable handful! This week or next I mean to get into that issue, but for now I simply wish to state that I’m writing again, and couldn’t be happier.
I am not so much interested in where kitchens have been as I am in where they are going, and in where our country is going for that matter, which is why we mean to explore other avenues of life in addition to this most stimulating tour of all things home furnishings and designs, special emphasis on baths, extra special emphasis on kitchens. But maybe after some 863 blogs, we’ve earned the right to an occasional dissenting opinion.
I did not get into woodworking until I was the current age of an East Coast friend who has reinvented himself several times, going from cabinetry to kitchen design to blogging guru, and now back to advertising guy. I don’t mind saying that if I had gotten into these things at a younger age, I almost certainly would have gone into design, but at least I have developed a real appreciation for what goes into the creation of these things. Joe and I look forward to this coming year and hope that you will join us on this site or on our political site, or best of all, on both.
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